How to Ace a Telephone Interview…

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Employers are increasingly using telephone interviews as the first stage of the job application process. Acing your telephone interview will increase your chances of being invited to a face-to-face interview, so preparation is essential.


Although it’s a telephone interview, it is just as important as a face to face interview. Find out as much as you can about the company and have all the information to hand. The benefit of a telephone interview is that (as long as you don’t read from a script) you can have any information you want to hand to assist you, so take full advantage and have your CV, notepad and a copy of the job description that you are applying for.


Taking it seriously:
There can be a common misconception that a telephone interview isn’t as important as a face to face interview but that couldn’t be more wrong. It is the key to getting you through to a face to face meeting and will mean that when you attend that interview, you’ve already built a good rapport.


Controlling the environment:
Be sure that you’re in a quiet location with minimum distractions. Turn the radio and telly off – try to keep background noise to a minimum. If you’re at home ensure that you won’t be disturbed and if you’re at work, book a meeting room or take the call in your car on a break – anywhere that allows you to talk freely without fear of your Boss overhearing you!


Avoid using your mobile:
From past experience, we do recommending using a landline over a mobile if possible. Muffled sound, poor signal, low battery and a dropped call can be very frustrating for everyone and can lead to the interviewer ending the call prematurely (or even worse, thinking that you’re not taking the call seriously). Try to find a landline or, if you can’t avoid using your mobile, find a place with a good signal and make sure the battery is fully charged.


PMA – Smile when you dial!
It’s cheesy and is something we have all heard before but it does work! Taking a deep breath and smiling when you take the call does come across and will make a welcoming first impression on the phone.


And finally… Listen!

It’s completely obvious but since you are not face to face with the interviewer, you’ll miss body language signals, that can help you to judge reactions and engage with the employer. Be sure to listen to the questions and take time to answer. If the line goes silent, it could be that the interviewer is making notes about your answers or is taking a minute to process the information so instead of taking it as a bad sign, try asking questions like “do you want me to go into more detail?” or “is that what you need to know?”


We hope these tips are helpful, if you need any more advise or would like to do a practise telephone interview, please speak to any of the Consultants at Optima.

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